All Entries For health

5 Simple Habits that Help Prevent Major Health Problems


It's no secret that our everyday lifestyle choices have a direct effect on our long-term health. According to a recent study, about 60%–70% of healthcare visits in industrialized countries are associated with chronic, preventable diseases caused by poor lifestyle choices, including lack of physical activity, overeating, chronic stress and poor sleeping habits. The good news is, simply changing these daily habits can help us significantly improve pre-existing chronic conditions--or prevent them altogether before they happen. Here are some of the most impactful, medication-free changes you can use as another course of treatment in your toolbox to get your health back on track. 
Posted 12/8/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 8,864 views
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4 Ways to Save Major Money on Healthcare Costs


Taking care of your health certainly isn't cheap! Even routine tests and everyday care can add up to a significant amount of money. When health costs start to stack up, where do you look? You probably already shop around for cheaper prescriptions, grocery store discounts and economical gym memberships. You might have even used online discounters, like Groupon or LivingSocial, to source deals on services from massage and acupuncture, to laser eye surgery and varicose vein treatments.
But what else can you do to cut even more costs? Follow these tips to start saving big time on all your personal healthcare needs! 
Posted 12/3/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 8,976 views
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Your Own Personal Nurse Is a Phone Call Away


Your doctor can be a great resource to help guide you toward a healthier life. But every so often, you might need professional health advice immediately--advice that you can't necessarily get from a quick Google search. Maybe you're dealing with a chronic condition and don't have the time, energy or money to make an appointment with your physician for every little question. Dealing with a chronic illness can be confusing and challenging, and it might seem like you need a go-to person who can address all your concerns as they come up. The good news is, those people do exist! They are called Personal Nurses, and they may be available at no cost through your insurance provider. We interviewed Jessica, a Personal Nurse at Humana, to find out what these professionals can do for you. She also gave us some great tips on how to get the most out of your doctor's visits, how to effectively cope with a chronic illness, and more--so take notes! 
Posted 11/18/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 8,951 views
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Get a Team of Personal Health Professionals


When you’re not feeling like yourself, it’s good to have a team of friends and family to help. But where do you turn when you need support and expertise? Many people don't know that some health insurance plans offer up personal health professionals to help you navigate the healthcare space and design a plan to become your healthiest, happiest self. These experts are available to work one-on-one with you to establish a baseline and set realistic goals. They can provide personalized guidance, education and resources. Additionally, they will follow up with you based on your personal needs and preferences--all included in your health insurance package.
Posted 11/6/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 9,371 views
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The Best Ways to Stay Motivated for Good


You can read hundreds of nutrition articles and talk about getting healthier until you're blue in the face, but all the knowledge in the world won't do you any good unless you've got the motivation to go with it. And even though getting motivated might sound like the easy part, it's actually the trickiest! In our world of instant gratification and convenience, it can be all too easy to plop down on the couch instead of hitting the gym, or to grab takeout in favor of cooking a healthy dinner. To help us answer the million-dollar question of how to get and stay motivated, we asked two Humana Health Coaches to give us their top ten tips for setting—and reaching—any goal you set your mind to. 
Posted 10/27/2014  1:00:00 AM By:   : 23,114 views
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Michael Strahan's 5 Best Tips for a More Balanced Life


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, ''A Minute with Michael.'' 

These days, it seems like everyone is searching for the elusive concept of ''balance.'' Between family, friends, work and other obligations, it can be incredibly difficult to ''have it all'' without giving up all your sanity to do so. But although it's tough to portion out your limited time, it is still possible! Like anything else that's worth having, you just have to work to achieve that balance. Michael Strahan is living proof that it really is doable to live a fulfilling, well-rounded life based on your personal goals and priorities. Check out how he manages to achieve balance on a busy schedule. Then, adopt some of his pointers in your own life! 
Posted 10/26/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 17,919 views
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Memphis and Meta Take Small Steps for Big Health Changes


Here at SparkPeople, we love seeing other companies help communities reach healthy, positive goals—and Meta is doing just that! This summer, Metamucil® underwent an evolution to become part of a full line of wellness products called Meta, which aims to give people simple solutions to help them live their best, healthiest lives. The folks at Meta believe that making small, everyday changes can lead to long-term health and wellness results (a philosophy that mirrors our own). Now, Meta is challenging Americans in Memphis, TN—which is currently ranked as the unhealthiest city in the United States*--to make strides toward more healthful living, one step at a time. Memphis is up for the challenge, and the city is making better health more attainable for everyone with a year-long partnership with Meta and national sweepstakes** hosted on the Meta Facebook page
Posted 10/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 2,168 views
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Michael Strahan's Top 5 Motivational Tips


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, ''A Minute with Michael.'' 

Getting and staying motivated to reach goals, whether health-focused or otherwise, is a struggle for almost everyone. It can be all too easy to choose instant gratification and immediate comfort (like relaxing on the couch) over the choice that will make us happier in the long run (like hitting the gym). But guess what? You're not alone! Even the people who seem to have it all figured out have difficulty mustering up the motivation to stick to their long-term goals. The only difference is that they've found a system that works for them—and they make it a priority to stick to their own rules. Michael Strahan, television star and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, knows all about keeping the eye on the prize in the face of temptation. Read on for Michael's advice on how to stay motivated when life has every intention of getting in the way. 
Posted 10/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 17,384 views
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Peek Inside the Mind of a Health Coach


These days, getting and staying healthy is becoming a bigger concern with diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease on the rise. But it can be hard to know where to start or who to ask for help beyond your primary care physician. Where do you turn when you just want someone to help you put together a plan to help you reach basic healthy lifestyle goals?

This is where Health Coaches come in! These professionals are fairly new faces in the healthcare world, but their impact has been growing rapidly. Health Coaches can help tailor a plan specific to your goals, whether you would like to lose weight or simply start building healthier habits. We've interviewed two Humana Health Coaches, Melina and Kristina, to give you a peek into the world of these professionals--and why you should consider giving Health Coaching a try to take your healthy lifestyle commitment to the next level. 
Posted 10/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 11,962 views
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20 Ways to Eat Better On the Go


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, "A Minute with Michael." 

At SparkPeople, we believe that it's important to keep healthy eating a priority, especially if you're constantly on the go. Healthy food helps give you the boost of energy you need to help you feel your best and get through a demanding day. You might think you're too busy to consistently eat well, but it really is possible to fit in positive, impactful habits in minimal time. Take it from Michael Strahan, who always tries to make nutrition a priority--even in between endless travel and television appearances. When it comes to eating right, Michael says, "Preparation is key. Don’t let yourself get caught without a healthy snack on hand. You never know when you might be stuck in traffic or held up at a meeting. When you’re hungry, your mind is not in the mood to make good decisions. It wants to make the easy decision—and a lot of times, it ends up being something that’s not great for you."

So, how do you avoid making that "easy" decision? Simple: Make eating healthy the easy decision! When you arm yourself with good-for-you snacks at all times, there's never an excuse to hit the drive-thru or office vending machine. 
Posted 9/25/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 56,504 views
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5 Ways Health Insurance Companies Can Reward Your Healthy Habits


You know how health insurance works: You pay a premium, you pay a deductible and sometimes you also pay a copay. It can feel like a lot of paying, all told. But health insurance doesn’t just have to cost you money. Health insurance companies have an interest in you staying healthy and preventing chronic illness, too. After all, someone who is healthy will end up living a longer, happier life--and spending much less on medical expenses.
 
While yesterday’s insurers took a here-and-now approach, today’s companies are offering a host of health-promoting incentive programs to help their members prevent and manage health conditions. These programs are painless and powerful motivators to keep up healthy habits. Every insurance company is different, but most of the time, all it takes is a quick, baseline assessment in which you create personal, measurable goals (like getting a check-up or tracking workouts), and you’ll soon be earning rewards. These rewards most often consist of discounts or points toward the purchase of items or services (like exercise equipment, movie tickets, hotel stays and more) simply for doing basic health-related tasks. Here are some of the ways you could reap rewards from your insurance company (many of which you would probably do anyway!). 
Posted 9/22/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 20,027 views
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The Best Health & Motivation Resources You Aren't Using


Getting motivated is tough, and staying motivated is health’s million dollar question. You might be able to muster up the will to get to the gym a few times a week for a few weeks and then… nothing. Working out starts to feel like a slog. You fall back into your old TV habit and the next thing you know, you’re back on the couch instead of taking that after-dinner walk or meeting a friend for tennis. Inspiration can be especially sparse if you’re balancing a crazy work schedule, kids, aging parents, and everyday chores. But the good news is, there are now more motivational tools out there than ever to help you get (and stay) inspired to live a healthier life. One of the following helpful resources is bound to help you stick with your goals for the long haul! 
Posted 9/15/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 21,316 views
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10 Ways to Fit in Fitness When There's No Time


Editor's Note: We had a chance to sit down and chat with former NFL football player and current television star, Michael Strahan, who was kind enough to share with us his tips on balancing fitness, nutrition and motivation while leading a busy life. We'll be sharing his best tips in this ongoing series, "A Minute with Michael."

Between television appearances, media events, constant travel and time with his kids, Michael Strahan has a lot going on (to put it lightly!). But despite a jam-packed daily schedule, Michael knows that it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep up with it all. When we asked Michael how he manages to fit exercise into his full days, he had some great advice for us. 
Posted 9/10/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 44,223 views
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Do Diet Sodas Really Help with Weight Loss?


One of the questions that I am often asked by my patients at the Anschutz Center for Health and Wellness is this: ''Can I drink diet soda and still lose weight?'' The follow-up question is usually: ''Is it true that diet beverages can make me feel hungrier?''
 
That’s when I know that they are seeing some of the same confusing headlines about diet beverages that I often see in the local and national news media, and even more frequently on the web.
 
What I love about my job is that I get to try to find answers to some of these puzzling nutrition questions. To that end, my colleagues and I just completed a study that asked the question: what effect do diet beverages have on weight loss? We were surprised by the answers, which makes me think that you may be, too. 
Posted 8/18/2014  12:00:00 AM By:   : 10,299 views
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The Truth about the Paleo Diet


If you've been in touch with diet trends over the past few years, chances are that you've heard of the Paleo diet. When you Google the word "Paleo" or "Paleo diet," you'll find thousands of blogs, recipes, articles and best-selling nutrition books. But what exactly is Paleo—and is its popularity warranted? Is it all hype and marketing, or is this truly the best diet to adopt for optimal human health? Let's take a look at what the evidence says. 
Posted 8/4/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 46 comments   108,507 views
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